Islamic calligraphers say, “When the pen cries, the paper laughs.” Well, let’s just say both were crying in my case. Sobbing. And I was copying only the Arabic alphabet, certainly nothing holy.
By the end of the class, my beautiful, burnished sheet was covered with the teacher’s perfect red letters and my carefully executed black blobs. He had to correct nearly every one. Track Changes, ancient style. But I persisted, out of love for the sun and moon letters of Arabic. I learned a lot. I’d like to say I improved by the end of the course.
For good or ill, Word’s Track Changes has replaced old-fashioned stets, caps, and “sp-ses.” Despite the mess of bloody red comment balloons, insertions, and deletions (moldy blue ones, if two editors have reviewed a manuscript), Track Changes has made editing easier. It’s better than proofreader’s marks made on hard copy with colored pencils—or quill, even bamboo, pens. Draft to draft, it wastes less paper, results in less solid waste. Well, maybe. [Wink]
Do you have questions about how Track Changes works? An experience you’d like to share? Has it helped? Driven you crazy? After all, no one should have to cry!